Published: 21 January 2015

University Challenge team one step away from semi-finals

Celebrations were confined to a “smile, nothing wild”, as University of Liverpool’s University Challenge team triumphed in their first quarter- final match.

After defeating University of Bristol by 175 points – 115 points, the team, made up of captain Declan Crew, alongside Ben Mawdsley, Jem Davis and Hugh Hiscock, were asked whether they liked “living dangerously” by host, Jeremy Paxman.

His question followed a tight match, with both teams leading at different points before a late surge by Liverpool snatched victory at the last.

Fairly even

French PhD student, Hugh Hiscock, said: “We were fairly even teams so we were quite confident, especially after the first and second rounds, where we built up quite a lot of momentum.

“You need luck with the questions, and they just fell right for us in the second half of the match.

“It’s surprising how quickly you can build up momentum and rack up the points when you get a few questions right.”

After triumphing over Glasgow and Sheffield in previous rounds, the team were on the back foot as Bristol raced to an early lead.

And trailing with as little as five minutes of the contest remaining; questions on fossils, the anatomy of fish and the ratio of a photon to its frequency put Liverpool back on top to finish 60 points ahead at the gong.

Hugh said: “We were just relieved. It went by in such a flash. The half-hour match time is intense and in the last few minutes we went on a great run.

“It was a good team performance and quite a high when the gong went, but relief at the same time.”

Long way to go

Hugh, 23 and originally from Southampton, revealed his family were initially in “shock” to see him involved in a show that was a “childhood institution”, but as victory followed victory have “got used to seeing me on TV”, he said.

Reflecting the focus the team have engendered as they take Liverpool to the heady heights of one win away from a semi-final place, Hugh said celebrations remain on ice.

He added: “We smiled, nothing wild. Obviously we’re delighted with the result, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Watch the University’s victory over Bristol here.

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